The Emergence of an Afro-Caribbean Legal Tradition: Gender Relations and Family Courts in Kingston, Jamaica

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A classic study of the ways in which the law can be at odds with the society it seeks to protect, this study demonstrates how the recent reforms in Jamaican family legislation have failed to close the discrepancies between social laws reflecting a nuclear family structure and the needs of a culturally distinct population engaging in serial mating, out-of-wedlock births, and absentee paternity. Based on participant observations, interviews and close scrutiny of the local media as well as a thorough review of court documents, Lafont's compelling analysis explores how family courts have come to be used in Jamaica as weapons of redress and retaliation serving personal agendas. Presenting a well-documented examination of mating and child-rearing practices in Jamaica, it constitutes a thought-provoking study of law in relation to society that will be of interest to not only family lawyers and legislators, but also to sociologists and anthropologists. LaFont served as a Family Court Counselor in Kingston, Jamaica.

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Austin & Winfield,U.S.
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